tv House Democratic Lawmakers React to Impeachment Inquiry Vote CSPAN November 1, 2019 3:51am-4:18am EDT
ask every single member of congress who has the transcript of the phone call, what is the impeachable offense. so i'll make you this one promise, republicans believe in the constitution. we believe in the rule of law and that's why we are standing here today and that's why the bipartisan vote in the u.s. house of representatives was no. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org on c-span3. announcer: we'll hear from house democrats who also spoke to reporters after the house voted to move forward with additional impeachment inquiry procedures.
it includes the chairs of all four committees with oversight authority as part of the inquiry. mr. mcgovern: this is a sad and somber time in the history of the united states of america. for the fourth time in our history, we are compelled by allegations of presidential wrongdoing, so serious we are engaged in an impeachment inquiry. none of us ran for impeachment inquiry, but we have put into place a fair process. these procedures are guided by the precedent congress set under previous impeachments and guarantee protections for the president and his counsel that were not presley provided during prior impeachments and lays out a process so the american people can hear about president trump's abuse of power. i'm proud of the resolution we put together and it will withstand the test of time and proud of the work of the rules committee. and even though it got somewhat contentious last night, i'm
proud of the way democrats and republicans conducted themselves. there was no live streaming. nobody stormed the committee, nobody seized a microphone and people behaved in a way that is respectful of this institution and i appreciate the cooperation of ranking member tom cole and the other republicans as well. i want to thank all the committee chairs here for their hard work to uncover the truth for the american people. this vote is a victory not for any of us, but on behalf of the onstituents who sent us here and who demand that we follow the facts and uphold our oath. i thank the courageous civil servants who testified so far, many in contradiction of this administration to silence them. let me conclude with this, i truly believe 100 years from now, historians will judge us
by the decisions we are making here today. at the end of the day, this resolution isn't about donald trump or any of us, but about our constitution and our country. and i yield to the distinguished chair of the select committee on intelligence, adam schiff. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman for yielding. this is a solemn day when the president's misconduct has compelled us to move forward with an impeachment inquiry. the resolution sets out the procedures going forward with that impeachment process. the founding fathers understood that a leader might take hold of the oval office, who would sacrifice the national security and fail to defend the constitution and put his interests above the country. they understood it might happen and provided a mechanism to deal with it and that mechanism is called impeachment.
we take no joy in having to move down this road and proceed with the impeachment inquiry. but neither do we shrink from it. the resolution from the perspective of the intelligence committee sets out important procedures for how we may conduct our open hearings. during the depositions we have conducted thus far, we have used a format that we believe is conducive to the fact-finding process. those procedures now will be incorporated into the open hearings in which staff counsel will be permitted for lengthy periods of time to do sustained questioning for up to 45 minutes per side, followed by member questioning. we have used this to great success for both parties during the course of the depositions where in the depositions we have alternated one hour for the majority, one hour for the minority, 45 minutes for the majority, 45 minutes for the minority. in those depositions, over 100
members have been eligible to participate. i should tell you that notwithstanding those that have complained about lack of access to the depositions, most of the members who have been permitted to attend have failed to attend, have not made use of the ability of attending each and every deposition. but those that have on both sides of the aisle have had the opportunity to question witnesses and when we move in open session, both parties will have the opportunity to question any witnesses that are called. the resolution will also permit the chair to release, begin releasing the transcripts of the depositions and i think you will see when those are released just what equal opportunity members of both arties have had. we recognize the seriousness of this undertaking.
we recognize that we have been compelled by the circumstances to move forward. when a president abuses his or her office, when a president sacrifices the national interests, when a president refuses to defend the constitution and does so for the purpose of advancing a ersonal or political agenda, the founders provided the remedy. i make no pre-judgment as to whether that remedy will be warranted when we finish these earings. i will wait until all the facts are put forward. we will undertake this duty with the seriousness it deserves and to the best of our ability. and i yield to the chairman of the judiciary committee, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: thank you, very much. no person, republican or
democrat, president or anyone else should be permitted to jeopardize america's security and reputation for self-serving olitical purposes. no president, no official can demand that an ally of the united states do anything in particular to help his or her political ambitions as a condition of receiving help from our country. if after a fair and thorough inquiry, the allegations against president trump are found to be true, it would represent a profound offense against the constitution and against the people of this country. it is the duty of the house to vindicate the constitution and to make it crystal clear to future presidents that this kind of conduct if proven is an affront of the great public that placed their trust in him
or her. this resolution that we passed today lays the groundwork for open hearings in both the intelligence committee and the judiciary committee. the house and the american public must see all the evidence for themselves. the resolution makes clear the a.m. will safeguards in the process that will be given and that will be adhered to. the resolution is necessary to ensure that our constitutional order remains intact for future generations. what we have seen are allegations of conduct at many levels, that if proven to be true are a challenges to the democratic order and norms that democratic order and norms that we all depend. we must hand this country to our
children with its democracy in as good a shape as it was handed to us. we simply have no choice because no one can be above the law and we must enforce that. i now yield to the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, mr. engel. i'm elliott engel chairman of the foreign affairs committee. for the last month, we have been working lockstep on this impeachment inquiry. so far we have seen damning evidence that the president abused his power and jeopardized our national security to help his own political for the tunes. -- fortunes. he pressed for another round of foreign interference in an american election. it's what the framers feared the most. we laid the groundwork for the next open phase of this investigation. moving ahead, the foreign affairs committee will continue to support this effort because
we know that the administration's abusive power resulted in our foreign policy being subverted and our diplomats being smeared, side lined and harassed. we cannot stand for that. i'm glad that the resolution we passed today will provide for an open and fair process that will allow the american people to hear from witnesses, see the evidence and understand the troubling story of what the president and his allies did. they deserve to know the facts and soon will. thank you. and now it's my pleasure to call on carolyn maloney, the acting chair of the oversight committee. mrs. maloney: i will be brief. i have just two points. first i want to my colleagues for their work. this is a very grave matter. as they have shown, we are acting deliberatively, thoroughly and without delay. secondly, i want to remind everyone of the words of our beloved former chairman, elijah cummings and quote, he said we are fighting for the soul of democracy, end quote.
that is our core mission under the constitution. we cannot allow a president or any president to extort foreign countries into interfering with our democracy. we cannot allow a president to withhold critical military aid that we have in congress provided in order to counter russian aggression. and we cannot allow a president to ignore dualy authorized subpoenas, withheld documents, prevent witnesses from testifying, covering up wrongdoing and obstructing congress. this is a fundamental corruption of the constitution and abuse of power and a breach of the oath of office. thank you. and i now yield to the chairman of our caucus, representative jeffries.
mr. jeffries: thank you congresswoman maloney and thank the chairs for their diligent work throughout this process. this is not a celebratory moment here in the capital city. this is a solemn moment. it's a sober moment. it's a serious moment. none of us came to congress to impeach this president or any president, but duty now requires that we investigate the serious wrongdoing that is hiding in plain sight. this is a moment for every single member of the house of representatives to put principle over party, to put the
constitution above corruption, to put democracy above dereliction of duty. this is not a moment -- this impeachment inquiry is not about democrats versus republicans, not about the left versus the right. it's not about the liberals versus conservatives. the impeachment inquiry is about right versus wrong. and we have a constitutional responsibility to follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the constitution and present the evidence of wrongdoing to the american people. the impeachment inquiry is about
abuse of power. it's about betrayal. it's about corruption. it's about national security. it's about the integrity of our elections, it's about defending our democracy for the people. with that, i will take a handful of questions. reporter: in light of all the information that has been gotten from witnesses behind to closed doors, are you willing to share -- expand the angry beyond the ukraine scandal and are you willing to share any instances who would like to testify publicly. mr. jeffries: we are operating -- mr.operating jeffries: we are operating under an impeachment inquiry umbrellas and six committees of relevant jurisdiction that will explore the wrongdoing that exists coming out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue and at the end of the process, make recommendations to
the chair of the judiciary committee with a continued focus on the trump-ukraine scandal, the abuse of power, the solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election and that inquiry will be led by adam schiff and the intelligence committee because it relates to a matter of national security. mr. nadler: we are not going to speculate on that now, but will see what happens. reporter: any witnesses to come before the public? mr. jeffries: we are not going to speculate on that. reporter: when can the american people expect to see open hearings? might it be as early as the week after next? mr. nadler: that depends on adam schiff and the speed which things go there. reporter: how crucial is john
bolton's testimony in building the case you hope to build against president trump? mr. nadler: you should ask adam schiff. any testimony is important , especially testimony that is so crucially located. reporter: you say that you have the right to impose appropriate remedies if you determine that the president is unlawfully blocking witnesses, what do you mean by that? mr. nadler: it's elementary that we are one party to a litigation. unlawfully block the investigation as this president has been doing, although we hope he won't continue doing it. we may have to take steps and do other things. reporter: what kind of punishment are you considering? mr. nadler: i'm not considering anything. we'll see what happens. reporter: how do you interpret
the ways that republicans stated that two democrats voted with them? mr. nadler: i interpret that the republicans are ignoring evidence that they don't want to see a proper investigation. that's all i can draw. mr. jeffries: last question. reporter: chairman nadler, how long will the house judiciary meet? and i think it is important for the american public to understand the time line. and for all of you here, this bill has more ability for the president once it reaches the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee that the republicans have a problem with, why have those problems in judiciary rather than intelligence? mr. nadler: first question was the time line, we don't know.
it depends on how many witnesses, et cetera. i can't speculate on that. second question, remember, the intelligence committee is doing a basic investigative job, a job that in past impeachments was done by the starr commission or urban committee. once it goes to judiciary, it's a different stage. it is not the official initial fact-finding stage and it is proper that the president have more recourse at that point. the minority, the republicans, have the same rights and have rights to call witnesses, to examine witnesses, et cetera, in intelligence. they will have the same rights in judiciary. once it gets to judiciary, if we are carrying -- if there has been a recommendation for an impeachment, then we are carrying on that inquiry at that point and the president ought to have more rights than in the initial fact-finding stage.
mr. jeffries: the president yesterday directed his republican defenders to focus on substance. that's what house democrats have been doing from the very beginning and we invite our republican colleagues pursuant to the direction of the president to do the same. what is this all about? congress, on a bipartisan basis, allocated $391 million to ukraine in military and economic assistance because we deemed it in our national security interests. ukraine right now is under attack from russian-backed separatists. ukraine is a friend. russia is a foe. ukraine is a democracy. russia is a dictatorship. the united states may be the only thing standing between vladimir putin and ukraine being
completely overrun by russia as part of his sanity to the glory -- fantasy to reconstruct the glory days of the soviet union. in that context, congress allocated the $391 million in a bipartisan fashion. in february, the administration, they wrote to congress and said the aid is on the way. but it never showed up. and then in may, the trump department of defense wrote to congress again and said the aid is on the way. and in that letter said, all necessary pre-conditions have been met by the new ukranian government, including the implementation of anti-corruption protocols. that was in the letter that was
sent by trump's department of defense in may. and yet the aid never showed up. twice during the summer, mitch mcconnell called up the trump administration and said where's the aid? mitch mcconnell couldn't get a good answer. and then on july 18 at the white house, the office of management and budget holds a meeting and mulvaney is there and said the reason that the aid hasn't been released is at the explicit direction of the president of the united states of america. july 25, we understand why, do us a favor, though. pressuring a foreign government to target an american citizen for political gain and thereby solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election while withholding this aid by a vulnerable ukraine.
mr. president, that is the substance of the matter and that's what we are going to focus on moving forward. mr. engel: foreign aid is a very important component of what we do around the world in order to keep america at the top of the world. and the money that the congress allocated to foreign aid was not the president's personal piñata he can use however he wants. -- mr. engel: by witholding that money, he is taking an asset of the united states, not
a personal asset, of the united states and withholding it to try to coerce the leader of another country to help him in his political election. if that isn't crazy, then i don't know what is. this really just cannot stand. foreign aid is not the president's personal piñata to do with what he wants with it. congress appropriates it and ukraine are at an important crossroads right now. this is a very serious matter and not simply the president talking to a foreign country but taking american money that the congress allocated for foreign aid to a country, to withhold it and say to that leader, i'm not going to give it to you unless you do what i need you to do. that is an absolute disgrace. and that is one of the reasons why we are here. thank you very much.
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on the road, exploring the american cities stories. this week, we go to laramie, wyoming. >> it is surrounded by mountains. this became a railroad town until it became a university town. it is an important part of our history. there's all different kinds of history that comes into the laramie outflow. >> join us on saturday at noon eastern apple tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history to be a is our c-span cities tour looks at the history and literary life of laramie, wyoming. >> before the house adjourned for the week, outgoing california congresswoman katie speech fromr final the house floor after intimate , photos of her were released without her knowledge, as an internal house panel began looking into possible ethics violations between her